WEST ORANGE, NJ — With five candidates running for just two open seats on the West Orange Township Council, this election season was divisive and a true challenge for all candidates. On Nov. 6 though, West Orange voters chose who will represent them on the council for the next four years: Susan McCartney was re-elected and Cindy Matute-Brown was elected.
All results from the Nov. 6 election remain unofficial until certified by County Clerk Christopher Durkin.
According to the Essex County Clerk’s Office website, with 100 percent of districts reporting in, McCartney took a large lead with 7,025 votes, or 26.41 percent, and Matute-Brown came in second with 5,483 votes, or 20.61 percent.
Challenger Monica Perkowski received 4,829 votes, or 18.15 percent; incumbent Victor Cirilo, who has served eight years on the council, received 4,626 votes, or 17.39 percent; and challenger Susan Scarpa received 4,599 votes, or 17.29 percent. There were 37 write-in votes.
As the frontrunner, McCartney is overjoyed to be re-elected to her fifth term on the Township Council.
“It feels wonderful to know the community appreciates everything I do,” McCartney told the West Orange Chronicle in a phone interview on election night.
She did add, however, that she was disappointed to see her fellow incumbent fall in the polls.
“It’s bittersweet because Victor has been my colleague for eight years,” she said. “He’s kind, friendly, warm and makes good decisions. I’m disappointed in his results.”
As she continues her tenure on the Township Council, McCartney said she will continue to work on the same issues she has championed for many years, such as seeking out and obtaining grants for the township, and making progress in the town’s planning and redevelopment.
Matute-Brown, who will serve her first term on the council, could not be reached for comment on election night.
However, in a prior statement she provided to the Chronicle, she said: “We need officials to provide progressive leadership to secure the future of West Orange and who honor the trust that we as residents instill in our elected officials. Our residents are burdened with yearly tax increases at the maximum level allowed. Town Council members need to take time to critically analyze all proposals that come before them. I will make sure our spending is rational, reflects our values, serves to improve schools, attracts industry and directly improves lives to secure the future for all West Orange families.
“We need new voices on Town Council to provide vision and leadership. I believe that local government elections are among the most important in our country because of the immediate impact that local policies can have. These are ideas that will make our great town better and help secure a bright future for our families.”